Louisiana's likely veto override session: Here's what to know about historic event.

Greg Hilburn
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Louisiana's first veto override session in modern history is all but inevitable with every Republican leader in the GOP-dominated House and Senate supporting returning to the Capitol to challenge Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards' vetoes.

Senate President Page Cortez of Lafayette, House Speaker Clay Schexnayder of Gonzales and three key Republican caucus chairs — Senate GOP Chair Sharon Hewitt of Slidell, House GOP Chair Blake Miguez of Erath and Conservative Caucus Chair Jack McFarland of Winnfield — all support an override session.

Ironically, veto sessions are automatic unless lawmakers opt out by sending in ballots to the House and Senate clerks, which they have done every time since the new Louisiana Constitution was ratified in 1974.

Following are the next steps to officially trigger a historic veto override session, when it would happen and how it will work:

Louisiana Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, front, and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, rear, are pictured in this file photo. Both support a veto override session.

Deadline for lawmakers' ballots

Legislators must return their ballots to opt out of a session by midnight Thursday (July 15), the 35th day after adjournment of the previous session.

Opting out only requires a majority of lawmakers in both chambers, which is 53 in the 105-member House and 20 in the 39-member Senate.

Some Republicans have taken dramatic action in destroying their paper ballots. Miguez, a world-class marksman, shot his up on a target range.

When would a veto session begin and end?

If no majority of either chamber declares a veto override session unnecessary, the session must begin at noon on the 40th day after the previous session's adjournment, which is July 20. 

Lawmakers must by law adjourn on or before the fifth calendar day of the session, which is July 24. Adjourning before midnight on July 24 requires a two-third vote in both the House and Senate.

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What can lawmakers consider while in a veto session?

Edwards vetoed 28 bills, all of which are eligible to be considered for an override.

The most often mentioned targets for override have been Senate Bill 156 by Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, to ban transgender athletes from competing on girls sports teams and Senate Bill Senate Bill 118 by Sen. Jay Morris, R-Monroe, to allow anyone 21 and older to carry a concealed firearm without a permit or training.

How many votes does it take to override the governor's veto?

Agreeing to return for a veto session only takes a majority of both chambers, but overriding requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate, a much higher bar.

Though both Mizell's transgender bill and Morris' concealed carry bill won two-thirds votes during the regular session, some Democrats will almost certainly reverse their votes on a veto motion.

And while the Senate holds a Republican super majority with 27 members there, the GOP has only 68 members in the House, two short of a two-thirds majority.

If any veto is overturned, the bill becomes law without the governor's signature.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.